A simple summer supper, just quick-seared chicken breasts finished during a short stint in the oven surrounded by fresh and summer-juicy peaches.
"A weed is only a flower out of place," my mother used to say. She had a knack for gardening, her able assistants the short cool summers and long light-filled days of Northern Minnesota.
As Mother Nature bears down on much of the U.S. – punishing heat and parching dryness – during this summer of 2012, my own gardens wither and I'm deciding that my definition of a weed is different. "A weed is what survives heat, drought and neglect while the pampered and watered potted plants scorch and shrivel."
BAKED CHICKEN with FRESH PEACHES
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 6 (easily multiplied & divided)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1-1/2 pounds
- Spice blend (see TIPS) or salt & pepper to taste
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped (see TIPS)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 ripe peaches, sliced
- Fresh basil, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350F.
CHICKEN Heat oil on medium heat in a large, oven-safe skillet. Sprinkle chicken on both sides a spice blend or salt and pepper. Drop into hot skillet and let brown on one side for 2 - 3 minutes without moving, then turn over and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes on another. Transfer meat to a plate, leaving drippings in the skillet
PEACHES Add onion to the skillet and let gently cook, just until softened. Stir in ginger, garlic and fresh basil and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock (the pan should sizzle) and stir, collecting up the bits of "fond" on the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat. Arrange peaches around the edge of the skillet and chicken breasts in the center. Bake for 15 - 25 minutes until the juices in the center of the thickest part of the breast run clear.
TO SERVE Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve tableside or slice the chicken, transfer to individual plates and serve.
This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011
Asian Chicken Salad Peacherry Blues Fruity Gazpacho Herbed Ricotta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Easy Radish Spread Pita Crisps Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Homemade Blackberry Sauce Carrot & Zucchini Bread (<< this week's reader favorite!) Homemade Peach Syrup with Fresh Peaches
This Week, Elsewhere
Summer Blend Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette from 54th Street Grill and Bar
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